Lewis (119th) leads Lady Eagles in Chile Pepper Festival

Cassandra Hallam returned to the lineup for the Lady Eagles and finished 190th in the Chile Pepper Festival.
Cassandra Hallam returned to the lineup for the Lady Eagles and finished 190th in the Chile Pepper Festival.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Oct. 13, 2012) – Freshman Tara Lewis finished 119th overall to lead Oklahoma Christian’s women’s cross country team to a 30th-place finish on Saturday morning in the Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park.

Lewis – the reigning Heartland Conference and NCCAA runner of the week – covered the six-kilometer course in 23:20.1, leading the Lady Eagles for the first time this season in a race in which OC fielded a complete team.

Lewis finished just ahead of teammate Jacqueline Hallam, whose time of 23:29.7 put her 127th in the 340-runner field. Cassandra Hallam was OC’s third finisher, coming in 190th in 24:29.3.

Noemi Hernandez (266th in 25:47.1), Tavia Hoheisel (299th in 26:43.7) and Maria Sargent (315th in 27:56.9) rounded out the Lady Eagles’ finishers in the race.

“Tara and Jacq both ran great races,” OC coach Wade Miller said. “Having Cass back in the lineup was nice. Noemi, Tavia and Maria ran well and gave us a solid finish in a tough race.”

Oklahoma’s Jess Engel won with a time of 20:42.1.

The 43-team event included 12 squads from schools either in NCAA Division II or in the Division II membership process, and OC, with a team score of 865, finished third among that group. The Lady Eagles trailed only Heartland Conference rival Dallas Baptist (Texas), which was 22nd with a team score of 611, and East Central, which was 27th with a team score of 757.

Meet host Arkansas won the team title with a score of 58.

The Lady Eagles will run next Saturday in the Mid-States Classic in Winfield, Kan., which will be their last meet before the NCCAA Championship on Nov. 10 in Cedarville, Ohio.

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